I haven’t been writing much here recently. My only excuse is that the weather has been so good that the garden has taken precedence. I would repair pens outside if I could but it wouldn’t work out! I haven’t neglected my duties altogether, though. I got hold of some Conway Stewart pens and pencils and here they are:
They were rather in need of work when they arrived. The pencil that accompanied the 388 was missing the clip and clip screw and it didn’t propel or repel. I found a suitable clip screw among my spares and when I stripped the pencil down I cleaned out a considerable quantity of graphite and it worked well again.
The 75 had met with an accident and the nib was quite wrinkled. A while with Laurence Oldfield’s excellent nib straightening equipment restored it to its original shape. The pencil that came with it is not the correct one; it has gold plating whereas the pen is chrome plated. Though the pattern is not exactly the same it is similar and I plan to keep them together.
The Conway Stewart 388, like the 55, retained an older type of design into the post-war period when the rest of Conway Stewart’s product line was more tapered and modern looking. Judging by the numbers that remain available today, the 388 was a market leader. It’s a splendid pen and the rounded profile of the 5N nib makes for an excellent writer.
The 75 fell into the lower middle in terms of price. The chrome rather than gold plating indicated a less expensive pen but the presence of a cap ring meant that it was not among the cheapest. It has a decent sized nib and these pens feel good in the hand. The marbled pattern is very attractive.